Abolishing Child Labor in India will be a mistake....
Hi, I guess it's been a long time since i posted anything here or anywhere else for that matter. My hiatus partly was induced by my work and partly by some personal reasons. anyway keeping the formalities aside lets hop on to the topic at hand...
I know that the title of the post itself would have raised many arguments against it but please empty thy cup and hear me out a little patiently as I promise to be short, rational and certainly humane in all my arguments.
Q) Why is it that we talk of child labour and abolishing it ?
A) There is an age for everything and as far as a child goes the most appropriate thing for him to do is to learn, play, eat and sleep. A child is generally not expected to head on face the challenges of life and his livelihood needs are meted out by his parents/guardians. A child is tender and also mostly ignorant hence he is often harassed oppressed and taken advantage of, if let out on his own in this society. Child labor needs to be abolished to ensure that the future of these children is a brighter, safer and healthier one.
Q) Agreed, but why does a child need to do labour in the first place ?
A) Money makes the world go round,maybe, but for a child who is working money is needed to be earned to fulfil his bare minimum needs. I can say hopefully that all of us on blogger have been fortunate to have been provided with various comforts of life from the day we are born. Many however are not that fortunate. Hence the need to work, the need to earn a penny, the need to feed the stomach.
Q) Are you suggesting that by banning child labour we will be snatching from these children their means of livelihood? Their bread and butter?
A) I am not suggesting that, I am quoting that.
Q) But.. It's a child!
A) Yes, I am aware of the fact that it is a child and also have those feelings of sorrow for them but along with it I also ensure that I am not blinded by my sorrow. Having some experience with my family NGO, where in some street children were provided with funds to carry on education, i learnt quite a bit about them. here is a child who has the potential to earn and he is earning. More importantly he needs to earn. By banning child labour you are snatching from him the source of his bread and butter. Instead make laws which ensure he gets what he is due for and enforce it. What is the point behind making laws you cannot enforce? What is the point behind making laws where the oppressed is further oppressed ? What is the point behind abolishing child labor when the government has not ensured that each and every such child shall be taken care of by a govt. school or some other set up for these children. I fully support the notion that a child should not be working in his early ages and instead should be equipped with the tools that would help him be a better individual and lead a better life.. As long as that infrastructure and system has not been set in place, please do not let your humanity blind you. Infrastructure takes time to come up, coupled with the over-efficiency of our legislature and bureaucracy it shall take a lot more. There should at least an effort be made to ensure that these children are not exploited and treated fair by the traders instead of blindly cutting of their means to earn without providing them with a meaningful alternative.